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22 October 2019

QF musicians prepare to perform on the international stage for United Nations Day

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A violinist and a cellist from Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra look ahead to a milestone in their musical careers - playing at a concert at the United Nations in New York

Presenting music from both the Arab and Western worlds, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra organizes over 40 yearly events and concerts in Doha, for audiences to enjoy and be inspired by.

But the QF member’s schedule of concerts also includes worldwide venues: from the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. And as United Nations Day 2019 approaches, the orchestra will be part of the occasion as it performs in another prestigious international setting – the United Nations Assembly Hall in New York on October 24.

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra prepare for their performance at the United Nations Assembly Hall at a Doha rehearsal.

The theme of this year’s concert to mark United Nations Day is ‘Building Prosperity for All through Culture, Education, Gender Equality, Sports, and Sustainability’, with Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra performing the works of Hala Al-Emadi and Dana Al Fardan, conducted by Eimear Noone.

Among the international talents who make up the orchestra, and who will be playing at the UN on Thursday, are two gifted female musicians: German violinist Anne-Cathrin Ehrlich, and Hungarian cellist Olivia Farkas.

Being part of an orchestra in Qatar is significant for me, because Qatar is a nation that empowers women in all aspects of life

Anne-Cathrin Ehrlich

Ehrlich, who is playing with the orchestra at the UN for the second time, explained the significance of this year’s United Nations Day concert theme by saying: “I’m really proud to be performing, especially as this event highlights important subjects such as gender equality.”

“Being part of an orchestra in Qatar is significant for me, because Qatar is a nation that empowers women in all aspects of life. I see women being strong, making choices, deciding about their future, and standing on their two feet. That’s what I stand for as well.”

For Farkas, this week will see a first performance at the UN, and she said: “I’m really excited - this will be my first time in New York, so I’m very much looking forward to it.

“I believe it is a great opportunity to be able to perform there with the orchestra, and to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere.”

As well as its Doha performances, the orchestra has performed in cities including Washington D.C. and Paris.

Being part of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra means a lot to the two musicians. After successfully auditioning to join, they both moved to Qatar and have been living here ever since.

“It’s a big honor,” says Farkas. “This is a really good orchestra that brings together excellent musicians who have great knowledge and skills.

“I used to be part of many orchestras in Hungary but I’ve never been in an orchestra of this caliber, so I’m really happy here.”

Ehrlich has been with the orchestra for 12 years, and she says: “I simply wouldn’t have been here this long if it didn’t mean so much to me to be a member of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

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“Being part of an elite group of musicians is my dream job. So, every time I come to work, I feel like I’m dreaming again, and I’m just enjoying my time as a musician.”

“I think I’m lucky, because it’s an absolute joy to have an artistic job where you can express yourself and reach an audience through music.”

Music can help us express emotions that are hard to express,” explained Farkas. “Love, hurt, anger, happiness, can be communicated in a powerful way

Olivia Farkas

To both musicians, music is their voice, and they use it to communicate their feelings to the audience. “You don’t need to talk about some things in life if you can manage to give a feeling to someone in another way,” explains Ehrlich. “Giving your message through music has a higher value for me.”

“Music can help us express emotions that are hard to express,” explained Farkas. “Love, hurt, anger, happiness, can be communicated in a powerful way if you are able to convey them through music.”

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